Project Advisory 61, November 2019

The MSBA's Sustainable Building Design Policy includes a requirement for all core program projects to register with the most recent version of LEED-S or NE-CHPS and exceed current Massachusetts base energy code by 10%. This policy also provides incentives for a district to increase the energy efficiency for core projects by exceeding current Massachusetts base energy code by 20% for 2 additional reimbursement points. Refer to this link for additional information regarding MSBA Sustainable Building Design Policy.

The MSBA notes that, although the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code ("IECC") is currently in effect as the Massachusetts energy code, we are in a concurrency period which is scheduled to end on a date that is to be determined. On that date, the updated MA energy code will be based on the 2018 version of the IECC, and the 2016 version of ASHRAE 90.1, including any MA amendments. This updated energy code is estimated to show a 15% increase for energy efficiency in educational facilities over the previous version. Each design team should review the project’s anticipated permit date based on the project schedule, coordinate this information with the project code analysis, and verify that the levels of additional energy efficiency attempted in the LEED/NE-CHPS scorecard conform to the standards using the correct version of the energy code. Compliance with the MSBA Sustainable Building Design Policy will be based on the energy code in effect when the Schematic Design Submittal is received by the MSBA.

Note that, in addition to this change, NE-CHPS version 3.2, LEED V4 and V4.1 are in effect. As always, the MSBA uses the submitted LEED-S/NE-CHPS scorecard as a basis for establishing conformance with the current energy code requirements. Designers should confirm that any submitted LEED-S/NE-CHPS scorecards are based on the correct energy code, noting which version of LEED-S/NE-CHPS is used, with descriptions of any beta credits or alternate compliance paths used.

If you have any questions regarding the MSBA Green Schools policy, please review the information linked above or contact MSBA Design Director, Karl Brown, AIA.